Pasta Encyclopedia: Orzo

Orzo is a familiar shape that goes by many names – — risoni (or “big rice” in Italian) and puntalette (“tiny tips”) are just two of its other aliases. Orzo literally means “barley” in Italian, as the pasta shape resembles a grain of barley or rice. It’s often used in soups or salads, or even cooked risotto-style as a faster- cooking stand-in for its rice cousins. We love these “orzottos” for quick preparation and durability – — the small, dense shape holds up well over time.

Here is a collection of some of our favorite orzo recipes, from a shakshuka with orzo, to a Milanese-style orzotto with mushrooms and prosciutto, and even a take on “fried rice” with orzo as the grain. Buon appetito!